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Queen Elizabeth to visit pope, Italian president

British monarch to be accompanied by Prince Philip

03 April, 11:49
Queen Elizabeth to visit pope, Italian president (ANSA) - Rome, February 4 - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, the duke of Edinburgh, land in Rome on Thursday to meet Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and Pope Francis.

The queen will go to the Quirinal Palace, the presidential residence, at around 13:00 local time and have a private lunch with Napolitano.

Elizabeth, who is also head of the Church of England, will then have an audience with the pope in the Vatican.

The 87-year-old queen is coming to Rome after cancelling a March 2013 visit to Rome due to a gastrointestinal illness that required a brief hospitalisation.

She has visited the Italian capital four times during her 62-year reign, the last time 14 years ago.